Bring Japanese car to America?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by yoyo5280, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. yoyo5280 macrumors 68000

    yoyo5280

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    #1
    I am just curious if you can bring right handers to america...
     
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    Feb 19, 2005
    #2
    I presume so as I've seen them here before. Not to mention, an old professor of mine shipped his benz to London when he was going to be there for a year. It happened to be somehow cheaper to do that then anything else.
     
  3. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #3
    In Canada the car has to be at least 15 years old.
     
  4. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

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    #4
    You can, but between inspections, licensing, customs, etc., etc., it's almost not worth it unless it's a model that is just too cool to leave behind. An RHD Eunos Roadster, I'd do it for. Generic Toyotas & Hondas, I wouldn't bother.
     
  5. SuperCompu2 macrumors 6502a

    SuperCompu2

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    #5
    Wow, I never knew it was possible. Thats really neat!
     
  6. yoyo5280 thread starter macrumors 68000

    yoyo5280

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    #6
    Oh I see. America just does not have many of those cool box cars. :p
     
  7. yoyo5280 thread starter macrumors 68000

    yoyo5280

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    #7
    You must own the car for a year in japan before you can export it :p
     
  8. SuperCompu2 macrumors 6502a

    SuperCompu2

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    #8
    No no, the whole "having a right-side steering vehicle in the US" thing. I thought only garbage men and Mail men got away with that...
     
  9. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

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    #9
    I thought it was state specific on whether a right-hand drive is allowed or not.
     
  10. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #10

    Nope. A guy I used to work with had an old right hand drive 1960-something Mini. Fully legal and licensed in the US...he used it as his daily driver and never had any trouble
     
  11. nickspohn macrumors 68040

    nickspohn

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  12. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #12
    You might want to check the emissions laws of your state, and how they compare to those of Japan.
     
  13. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

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    #13
    http://www.foreignborn.com/visas_imm/entering_us/7importingyourcar.htm

    Its not gonna be free:

     
  14. bbotte macrumors 65816

    bbotte

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    #14
    I've seen a few right hand drive Skylines here in Ohio.
     
  15. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #15
    Yes it can be done. You will need to pay fees, and have certain things changed on the cars to meet US specs.

    But I always wonder why folks do that? I know some here in Japan who drive BMW and Benz type cars with the steering wheel on the wrong side. It's easy to get the correct side steering.

    Personally, I want the steering wheel to be on the correct side for the country I am driving in. Safer that way as well.

    To each his own. :)
     
  16. riscy macrumors 6502a

    riscy

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    China
    #16
    I agree, but here the split is about 50-50 left and right. It is very odd as you often look for the driver (on whichever side of the car) and they are often on the other side.
     
  17. wronski macrumors 6502

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    May 8, 2005
    #17
    You would only have to worry about taxes if the same car was already approved for US roads. That does not include the necessary changes you will have to make to make the car DOT approved. All in all, this would be a very expensive endeavor if the same car model is not sold in the US.
     
  18. OscarTheGrouch macrumors 6502

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    Feb 28, 2007
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    G' Vegas South Carolina
    #18
    I would think in big cities like NY, Detroit etc that having a right hand drive vehicle would be safer. If you have to park somewhere on a busy street, wouldnt you rather be getting out of the vehicle on the sidewalk wide instead of the street side?

    just a thought.
     
  19. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #19
    A company called Motorex, based in California, used to import R32, R33, and R34 Nissan Skylines into the US. They actually went through the full process of importing and federalizing the car; they kept them right hand drive and added US emissions equipment to make them 100% road-legal.

    They've since stopped doing it, and I heard that they fell foul of the law on some stupid technicalities. Apparently, when you go through the process of federalizing a car, you get approved to convert car model X, and only car model X. Even a different trim level of the same car requires its own federalizing process, which costs a fortune. Motorex sold a variety of trim levels when they apparently had a permit to convert only a certain trim level or something like that. A shame.

    There are a lot of rules, and anything less than 25 years old must comply with the full set of USDOT standards in place when the car was built. Emissions regulations are retroactively applied to some vehicles stretching back into the 60's.

    There are some loopholes. Race cars are exempt from most of the BS, since they are not road-legal anyway. Cars older than 25 years are easier to import. There is a "show and display" category whereby you can import cars deemed technologically or historically significant (but non-compliant with USDOT standards) and drive them on the road so long as they clock less than 2500 miles per year.

    I think it's all stupid, in the sense that Europe, Japan and the US all have sensible safety/environmental standards, but none of the countries recognizes those of the others.

    The list of cars I'd want to import is endless...Lancias, Alfas, Euro-spec BMWs and Mercs, TVRs, the Lotus Carlton, Alpines....ugh. Better not to think about it.
     
  20. Tom B. macrumors 65816

    Tom B.

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    #20
    And don't forget head-on collisions would be safer too.
     
  21. yoyo5280 thread starter macrumors 68000

    yoyo5280

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    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia & Bay Area
    #21
    So I am guessing its really not worth it in a couple of years...

    However I don't understand why people would want to bring cars you can buy in both countries. In japan there are so many cars I have not been able to find in US...even something as simple as the lil Nissan March/Cube.
     
  22. wronski macrumors 6502

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    May 8, 2005
    #22
    The Nissan Cube is coming if that's what you're interested in.
     
  23. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

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    #24
    It's safer to get out of the car on the footpath side, but it is more dangerous parking and getting out of a park from the footpath side, because there is a much larger blind spot on the passenger side of the car.


    you might need to explain this...
     
  24. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    UK
    #25
    If driving in the gutter was safer all cars would be inverted.
     

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